The ultimate skin detox
For a facial that really gets results, Skinsmith's signature detox microdermabraison facial is the business. It's quick too.
Skinsmiths is a new breed of aesthetics clinic that arrived on these shores just under two years ago from New Zealand. It’s a family company – called Caci in NZ – run by Jackie and David Smith (hence Skinsmiths) who’ve had 25 years of storming success down under.
It’s run on a membership basis – like a gym only for skincare – although you can also book individual treatments. It’s a concept that makes a lot of sense especially in an industry where results are almost always best obtained by regular treatments. We don’t expect a perfectly toned bod after one gym workout, so it stands to reason that a one-off facial won’t give you the long-term glow you’re after. Great skin takes time.
There are nine branches in the UK including ones in Esher in Surrey and Wimbledon Village. I was at the Esher clinic, which set up in the former beauty salon Institut de Beauté on the High Street. There’s on-street parking in Esher, but you have to be pretty jammy to find a free spot, so I’d head to one of the pay-and-display car parks instead. The Claremont Lane and Heather Place car parks are both less than 5 mins walk from the clinic.
There’s a soft and unfussy boutiquey feel to the Skinsmiths clinics – they’re not at all clinical and cold. Warm peachy pinks and cool neutrals create an alluring calm which is broken up with living greenery like cactus and aloe vera, and fluro-lit signs. Think trendy LA vibes meets laid-back glam.
New members are invited for a complementary skin consultation where one of the skin technicians will ask questions to get to know about you and your skin before plotting a bespoke treatment schedule.
I was booked in for Skinsmith’s signature detox treatment – a results-driven facial that combines microdermabrasion with thermal laser treatment. It’s designed to deeply clean and clarify skin and leave it looking brighter.
My skin technician was Yasmine, and if ever there was an advertisement for an aesthetics clinic she is it. Her skin positively glows.
If you’re after a relaxing hour-long facial where creams and cleansers are applied, massaged and removed, this one isn’t for you. This is highly results driven and fast. The treatment is done and dusted in little more than 30 minutes.
There are two parts to it. The first part uses aquaderm microdermabrasion – a machine that basically sucks all of the impurities out of your skin whilst pushing moisture back into it. It’s a weirdly satisfying sensation – a kind of wet sucking a small hose. It doesn’t hurt and whilst I didn’t find it uncomfortable at all, super sensitive people may feel some discomfort especially around the nose area. Yasmine had to empty the tank midway through – and showed me the gunk that had come from my skin. It was a cloudy grey with little floaty blackhead-type bits – sounds gross, and probably is, but better out than in, I say!
Part two involves the thermal laser. For this I had cotton buds and googles placed over my eyes to protect them. Yasmine applies the laser, covering the entire face and neck area twice. Again, it’s not painful or uncomfortable – it just tingles a bit and tickles a little around the nostrils. It works by penetrating light in to the deeper layers of skin to generate heat which creates controlled inflammation and triggers the body’s healing response. This encourages collagen production – which is what makes it look smoother and more glowy!
And finally, Yasmine applied a moisturiser and then an SPF from the Skinsmiths own range.
I was given an after-care guide which suggested I avoid anti-inflammatory medications like Asprin and Ibuprofen and try to avoid exercise or anything that could cause excessive sweating for 24-48 hours. You should also apply an SPF 30 sunscreen and avoid using active skin treatments products (such as those containing AHAs) for 24 hours. And if you must wear makeup post-treatment, they suggest wearing mineral make up only.
I’m impressed! My skin feels smoother, more evened-out and clearer. I can be prone to redness, and that’s faded. I also quite like knowing that all those impurities are gone.
Various memberships are available depending on your skin goals, but an the skin health membership kicks off at £65. Members benefit from from preferential prices on skincare and treatments and take-home product kits. As a one-off the signature detox facial costs £68, although for new clients there’s an offer of £35 for the first treatment – which at that price, makes it really tempting to try!
As you’d expect the clinic has adapted to the Covid restrictions. The team are all wearing the appropriate PPE gear including masks, visors and aprons, and there are now protective screens in the reception area and hand sanitiser available. All members are asked to wait at the door to check their temperatures before arrival in the clinic, and are required to wear face coverings unless they are having a facial treatment – where it can be removed. They have also extended our opening hours to allow us to spread out the appointments and minimise number of members in our clinics at any one time.